Experts have warned that an "unheard of" marine heatwave off the coast of the North East poses a serious risk to wildlife.
Temperatures in parts of the North Sea along the North East coastline are said to have risen by up to 5 degrees this summer.
The North Sea is said to range between a narrow margin of around 6 degrees celsius in winter to around 15 degrees in winter, meaning a 5 degree increase would be considered significant.
Scientists say the increase is a category four marine heatwave, which is considered extreme. It is thought to be caused by climate change.
Video report by Julia Barthram
Nick Jones from South Shields Surf School said the difference in sea temperature this year was noticeable.
He said: "It's warmed up quick this year is what we've found. Winter seemed to finish overnight and summer came the next day and the water seemed to follow suit."
Professor Per Berggren from Newcastle University said the rise in temperature could have a knock effect on marine wildlife throughout the food chain
He said: "It is devastating, we are very worried to see what's going to happen in the next few weeks and months.
"A rise in temperature affects the plants and phytoplankton at the very bottom of the food chain, that in turn effects, vitally important, sand eels.
"Their reproduction is timed with the sea plankton, so if that changes, which will happen when the temperature changes, then we might have failing sand eel populations, which is very unfortunate because they then are the staple food for all the bigger animals in the area.
"All the dolphins, porpoises, whales, sea birds, sharks and rays. So we're very worried about that."
Sea surface temperatures in April and Mary this year were the highest on records since 1850 according to the Met Office and the US National Oceanic.
Richard Ilderton, from the Tynemouth Seal Hospital, said they are bracing themselves to deal with an influx of seals needing treatment.
He said: "They need a lot of calories to keep going, if their food is not there because of the impact of this increase in temperature then they'll be starving on the beach.
"The guillemots, the puffins, also the seal population.
"They need fish to survive and if the fish aren't there, because of the damage that's been caused by this increase in temperature, we're going to start seeing very underweight, malnourished and unwell seals coming out."
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